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Navy S Marine Corps Medical News
August 18, 2000
Navy and Marine Corps Medical News (MEDNEWS) is a weekly
compendium of news and information contributed by commands
throughout the Navy medical department . Information contained
in MEDNEWS stories is not necessarily endorsed by Navy Bureau of
Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) , nor should it be considered
official Navy policy.
BUMED distributes MEDNEWS to Sailors and Marines, their
families, civilian employees and retired Navy and Marine Corps
families. Further distribution is highly encouraged.
Stories in MEDNEWS use these abbreviations after a Navy
medical professional ' s name to show affiliation: MC - Medical
Corps (physician) ; DC - Dental Corps; NC - Nurse Corps; MSC -
Medical Service Corps (clinicians, researchers and
administrative managers) . Hospital Corpsmen (HM) and Dental
Technician (DT) designators are placed in front of their names.
Contents for this week's MEDNEWS:
- NEPMU-5 MMART deploys to Antigua
- NOSTRA completes phase one of ergonomic improvements
- Great Lakes commands awarded Meritorious Unit Commendation
- NMCP ratified first and finest in-patient care
- Anthrax question and answer
- TRICARE question and answer
- Healthwatch: Off the couch, spud!
Headline: NEPMU-5 MMART deploys to Antigua
By Lt . Al Lumanog, Public Affairs Officer, NEPMU-5
NORFOLK, Va. - Navy Environmental & Preventive Medicine
Unit No. Five (NEPMU-5) deployed a Mobile Medical Augmentation
Readiness Team (MMART) to Antigua July 5-29 in support of the
United States Southern Command New Horizons 2000 Exercises.
The nine-person team was assigned to Joint Task Force
Antigua at Camp Blizard, the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force's
military base. The team supported the JTF and worked with the
Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Health to provide training and
other support for their public health programs.
"This deployment was mutually beneficial to the JTF, the
Antiguan government, and our MMART team. Besides giving our
team field experience, the deployment benefited both through the
wide variety of deployable preventive medicine expertise and
support that we provided, " said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Medina, MSC,
the team's medical planner.
Members of the team were paired off with local public
health officials to help identify and mitigate public health
risks in local business and government facilities . They
surveyed suspected mosquito breeding grounds, assisted in
sanitation inspections in hotels and restaurants, conducted
indoor air quality and noise studies in several government
facilities, and used rapid laboratory diagnostic procedures to
screen human, animal and environmental samples for infectious
disease agents. The team also worked with the JTF to prevent
illnesses often found in deployed forces.
"At first, the SeaBees and the Marines in the camp were
curious about who we were and what we did, " said MMART member
HM1 Sonji Bucannon. "But when they saw us checking the rats we
trapped from the camp for potential disease-carrying fleas,
collecting mosquitoes, and going to their work sites to monitor
noise, dust and welding fumes, they got a pretty good idea what
our team does and what our mission is. They knew we were there
to support them. "
Headline: NOSTRA completes phase one of ergonomic improvements
YORTOWN, Va. - The Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training
Activity (NOSTRA) recently completed the first phase of a
comprehensive $600, 000 ergonomic modification of all production
and office spaces. Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job
to the worker. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command
provided technical assistance and hazard abatement funding to
correct the many ergonomic hazards encountered while producing
approximately 423, 727 pairs of prescription eyewear annually .
The project was developed to identify and prevent employee risk
of cumulative trauma disorders, improve the work environment,
and increase productivity .
Ergonomics is on the forefront of optical laboratory
workplace design. The project involved extensive laboratory data
automation, adjustable workstations, mechanical stock retrieval
system and ergonomic seating. The NOSTRA staff is already
noticing benefits from the ergonomic upgrades . They now enjoy
adjustable workstations that reduce fatigue from working in
awkward positions . The new eyewear prescription data transfer
interface has eliminated more than 6 million data entry
keystrokes and associated worker fatigue.
The Command Ergo Team is working on additional ergonomics
Headline: Great Lakes commands awarded Meritorious Unit
By Lt. Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, MSC, Naval Hospital PAO
GREAT LAKES, 111 . - If you were assigned to Naval Hospital
Great Lakes from November 1, 1998, to March 1, 2000, you may be
entitled to receive the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Earlier this month Great Lakes commands received the award
for the "conduct of recruits and student technical training for
the Department of Defense . " The award commended the personnel
of Naval Training, Center Great Lakes, 111 . , for consistently
displaying exemplary resourcefulness, teamwork and determination
while achieving unprecedented success in increasing training
capability and incorporating sweeping change to the training
The commendation further stated that the extraordinary
increase in demand for new Sailors for the Navy's operational
forces resulted in a 20 percent increase in recruit summer surge
accessions for Fiscal Year 1999. In order to transform these
civilians into successful Sailors, without compromising Navy
standards, the entire staff transcended conventional paradigms
for inter-command cooperation and multi-disciplinary program
"This honor represents the radical changes this base has
undergone in two years and its critical position as the Navy's
only Recruit Training Center, " said Capt . Elaine Holmes, MC,
commanding officer Naval Hospital Great Lakes.
Holmes also remarked that this award is not only for the
active duty staff of Naval Hospital Great Lakes but for those
active and reserve units that provide support during the Recruit
Summer Surge for the period mentioned.
If you served at Naval Hospital Great Lakes contact the
Public Affairs Office at (847) 688-2711 DSN 792. Reserve
personnel on ADSW (Active Duty for Special Work) or AT (Annual
Training) during timeframe are also entitled. Reservists should
contact Reserve Liaison Office at (847) 688-2723/2726/6699 .
Headline: NMCP ratified first and finest in-patient care
By Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs Office
PORTSMOUTH, Va. - NAVAL Medical Center Portsmouth
constantly impresses many military beneficiaries with its
facilities and outstanding patient care, but last month it also
made an impact on some hard-to-impress surveyors.
A team from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) visited NMCP in July to
evaluate the work and patient care practices of the hospital . As
part of the survey, every department and clinic was scrutinized
from sharp containers to medical records, and everything in-
between. Afterward the hospital was awared a preliminary score
NMCP ' s score is even more significant after the changes
implemented for the year 2000 survey made the overall standards
tougher. Currently, the average score for healthcare facilities
across the nation is in the 80' s.
Vikki Garner, Head of Quality Management said the toughest
part of preparing for the survey was making sure the staff was
aware and understood what the Joint Commission was looking for.
"Considering the move to Charette 15 months ago, the staff
faced a challenge with having to get used to a new building, new
equipment and new guidelines, but everyone was determined to be
the best, " Garner said.
"The Joint Commission team was totally overwhelmed by our
unwavering commitment to quality health care, wonderful staff,
and a beautiful facility, " said Rear Adm. Marion Balsam.
The entire staff at NMCP was thrilled at the score, but
they weren't surprised. "I knew we'd score high because we
already provide great services for our patients . We knew the
surveyors would see our hard work, " said HM1 Thomas Kooser,
Cardiology's leading Petty Officer .
JCAHO's accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol
of quality. It verifies that an organization meets certain
performance standards. To earn and maintain accreditation, an
organization must undergo an on-site survey by JCAHO at least
every three years.
Along with the JCAHO surveyors, the Medical Inspector
General team also conducted their review of the hospital . The
admiral was extremely complimentary to the NMCP ' s Board of
Director ' s .
"You have already achieved your vision of being the "First
and Finest" medical treatment facility, " Balsam said.
Headline: Anthrax question and answer
Question: What will happen if personnel are exposed to
anthrax before they gain immunity through vaccination?
Answer: Personnel will be treated with antibiotics if there
is a known exposure to anthrax before gaining immunity through
vaccination. Antibiotics are effective in treating animals,
including primates , exposed to inhalation anthrax, but only if
started before symptoms develop. This would usually mean
starting antibiotics in the first 24 hours after exposure.
Unfortunately , service members may not know they have been
exposed until symptoms develop; by then, the infection is nearly
always fatal within a few days, whether antibiotics are given or
not . The best protection to counter inhalation anthrax is the
use of the anthrax vaccine combined with the appropriate Mission
Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) , including protective
clothing and detection equipment.
Headline: TRICARE question and answer
Question: I'm on active duty and stationed away from a
military installation. What do I do for medical care, and do I
have to pay?
Answer: Currently, as an active duty member, you are
covered for your health care needs through supplemental care
funds; under no circumstance will you be required to pay for any
health care you may need. While not available currently, policy
changes are being worked to provide TRICARE Prime from civilian
PCM in the local area for Geographically Separated Units (GSU) .
Headline: Healthwatch: Off the Couch, spud!
From the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
If the most exercise you get comes from changing TV
channels with the remote, you may be jeopardizing your health.
By turning the television off, your risks of becoming or staying
overweight are reduced by as much as 50 percent . Not to
mention, turning off the television could improve your
concentration, your communication with your family and friends,
and your quality of life.
Two recent studies of Americans viewing habits showed that
the chances for unhealthy obesity more than doubles when TV
viewing reaches three to four hours a day.
Unfortunately, many people spend almost as much time
watching television as they spend working for a living. And for
many children, TV viewing is their primary daily activity,
second only to sleeping!
You don't have to throw out your television to reduce its
influence over your life. To help get that TV monkey off your
back, try these tips to limit the amount of time you spend in
front of the boob tube:
- Preselect programs and schedule viewing time for only the
programs you really want to watch. Stick to that schedule!
- Stop channel surfing. Turn on the set only for the
preselected programs and then turn it off when the show is over.
- When the TV is off, get out of the house. Go for a walk
or visit friends or neighbors.
- If you can't leave the house, leave the room with the
television . Read something, write a letter, resume an old hobby
or find a new one.